Russian publishers...

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Reactor, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    We've recently been contacted by a Russian publisher. I don't have a lot of details from them about who they are exactly, but they're offering:

    - royalties per copy $0.20
    - advance against royalties: $3000,
    advance payable in 2 parts - 50% on signing, 50% on localization

    This doesn't sound too bad to me personally, but my brother isn't so confident it'd be a wise move to try and translate our game into russian and get it published over there. Can anyone offer any advice as to whether this is a good thing to go for?
     
  2. Tertsi

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    I've been to Russia and I can just say that they are selling nearly only pirated games there. All I can say for sure is; the advance is a must.
     
  3. ManuelFLara

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    I don't know if the publisher will be honest enough to pay both parts or royalties, but as far as earnings go, I think it's a good deal, since it's tought selling original software in Russian, as they have to set very low prices to compete with piracy.
     
  4. Bluecat

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    Is that 20 percent royalty or 20 cents royalty per copy? Twenty cents sounds really low to me. How much are they selling the game for?

    You said you didn't have too much in the way of details about the publisher. Can you ask them to provide that information?

    I'd also ask for a list of developers that they have published, and contact some of them for info. Call it, checking their references. If their other developers are happy with them, it may be a good deal.
     
  5. Andy

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    Legal localized versions go for 3-10$. For very good games may be a little bit dated. The game should go with nice box (!) and preferably with manual too - otherwise, yes guys will buy it in the nearest shelve near the subway. :(

    $0.20 is too small amount anyway - but that sounds like they just stating that they are not planning to pay any royalties after advance.

    And... be careful Reactor. But you probably already know this without me. :)
    Sometimes they cheat even worse than in States and UK. :D
     
  6. BlueWaldo

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    If that really is $.20, and you think they might not even pay you that maybe you should just try to get more of an advance and let them sell as many copies as they can inside of Russia for no charge.
     
  7. Jim Buck

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    How much are the "subway versions" these days? When I was there a few years ago, they were going for $2.50 a game (75 or 100 rubles - I can't remember). In Poland, it was more like $5 a game (but sold by Russians that came to Poland for this type of business).

    As for the original post, I would just 100% assume that $3000 is all you will ever see from this and judge accordingly. (Or alternatively, based on what a couple others said and my own gut feeling, assume $1500 is all you will ever see from this and judge accordingly.)
     
  8. BongPig

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    We had no problems at all with our russian publishers. We got a nice advance ( $3000+ ) for each of our games, and a crappy royalty rate which we never expected to reach anyway.
    They paid us right on time, and never fecked us about.

    If you consider $3k enough money for taking the time to translate your game, then take the money. Forget about royalties. If you get any, its a nice bonus, but dont count on it.
     
  9. PoV

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    Also, try to get them to send you at least one retail copy. When possible, I like to have framed copies of my games, and foreign copies in different scripts look cool.
     
  10. Andy

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    Yeah, sure. That was said you by Poland guys? ;) That was probably hard for the to state that they come from China. :D

    Street versions are near 3$ - for product published on one CD (this is important if it comes on two CDs it goes for double price :D ).
     
  11. Jim Buck

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    No, I actually talked with them - they had bad Polish language skills with Russian accents. :)

    Yeah, it's the same in Poland that it's double the price if it comes on 2 cds. Last I read, though, they really cracked down hard on that in Russia, and I had heard of some stories of them doing the same in Poland. It's been a long time since I've been to these "black markets" (a couple years), so I don't know how widespread it still is there days.
     
  12. Andy

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    Great if so... :D
     
  13. Jim Buck

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    This is where I had read it, so take it with a LARGE grain of salt (for those of us who know about Fatbabies :) ):

    http://www.fatbabies.com/fatstories.html

    Scroll down to "RUSSIA BITCH-SLAPS GAME PIRATE UPSIDE THE HEAD!".
     
  14. KNau

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    One of my games was published in Russia through the exact same deal structure with no problems. They're even cool about reporting quarterly sales, but don't expect to get beyond your advance. It takes a lot of .20 cent sales to make up $3,000 :)
     
  15. Anthony Flack

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    Gah, I'm getting an unpleasant flashback to doing the Russian translation of Platypus. Why did I have to use an animated font?!?
     
  16. Reactor

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    Thanks guys, the advice is a big help.
     
  17. Andy

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    :p Only probably ten another letters to add Anthony :D
     
  18. Indiepath.T

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    What did you do with this? did you sign with them? what was the outcome?

    We have been approached with a similar offer. My first reaction was to laugh at it, I then read this and now I would like to get some feedback.

    Regards,

    Tim.
     
  19. ChilledOut

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    I also just recieved a similar offer, and would definitely appreciate any information. I recieved the same email two days in a row which made me even more suspicious.
     
  20. Jack Norton

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    Uhm I guess you can't name them there... ok PM me and we can talk (I did some successful deals with russian publishers and I know which one are the honest).
     

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